‘We just continue to ask for people’s patience,’ New Hanover County health leaders push forward with vaccine roll out

Health leaders say no vaccine appointments canceled locally

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Weeks into the vaccine roll out, tens of thousands of people in New Hanover County have been vaccinated.

New Hanover County public health officials say as of Monday, they’ve vaccinated 10,100 people alone; when you count the doses administered by Wilmington Health and New Hanover Regional Medical Center, the number is closer to 20,000.

“We just continue to ask for people’s patience, and I know that you’re tired of hearing us to ask them to be patient, but we along with Wilmington Health and the hospital are doing everything we can with everything we’ve got coming to us and our main goal is to protect our community. It’s just gonna take a while to get that done in it’s entirety,” said New Hanover County assistant health director Carla Turner.

Side Effects

As more and more people are eligible to get their vaccine, many people are eager to learn what they can expect in the moments after they get their shot.

Health leaders say experiencing a reaction is rare in the 15 minutes medical staff monitor you immediately after getting the vaccine, but most people see side effects later that night or the next day after getting the vaccine.

The vaccine is designed to teach your body how to fight the infection, so something like a spike in fever is a signal that your body is building immunity.

“Most people that I’ve spoken with have said the first thing they notice is a soreness at the site on their arm almost like a tetanus shot...your arm just gonna hurt a little bit while you have the injection. There is some fatigue sometimes involving body aches, chills. We had folks have had a fever. I have heard that people have had stronger side effects with the second dose than they had done with the first dose; so whatever it is, just keep an eye on it and you can take some Ibuprofen or some Tylenol if you’re not feeling well,” said Carla Turner.

A shortage of doses

Across the state, there have been reports of agencies having to cancel people’s vaccine appointments, citing a lack of supply. In Greensboro, more than 10,000 appointments were postponed after the state notified health providers they wouldn’t receive any first doses next week.

Health leaders say people in New Hanover County shouldn’t worry about seeing cancellations in our county. Public health leaders say the dose promised from the state will be here this week and they will continue on with their appointments.

People getting their vaccine through New Hanover County pubic health won’t see cancellations because of how the county plans. It’s a week to week process and when county leaders learn how much vaccine they will get, they make their plan and then send out the notices to the community that there are appointments available.

They do not work ahead of shipments because they don’t want to have to backtrack and cancel appointments.

People waiting for their second dose shouldn’t worry about seeing delays or cancellations either. When they got their first round of vaccine, the state held back an allotment for a second dose, according to Turner. Those special second doses have come in to the county this week and people will be able to get them, no problem.

Turner says they have the workflow down pat, and the only thing slowing the process down is the number of doses the state is able to send each week.

“There’s just not enough out there yet and I know more is being manufactured and there’s that third...Johnson and Johnson...I believe has their [vaccine] in Phase 3 trials right now; so, I don’t know when that may be available for use, but what we get is what the state sends us. We don’t get to pick what we want. We get an email telling us what we’re getting, and then we plan accordingly based on which vaccine it is and how much we’re getting.”

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